17 Weeks Pregnant

23 Weeks to Go!
Baby is as big as a pomegranate
Updated May 31, 2024
Fact Checked by Elizabeth Bryson

Key Takeaways at 17 Weeks Pregnant

  • You’re in the midst of the second trimester, which means those unpleasant early symptoms (extreme exhaustion and morning sickness) have probably given way to other issues: increased vaginal discharge and stretch marks—to name a few.
  • Sorry tummy sleepers, it’s time to find a new slumber position. Sleeping on your belly could interfere with blood flow to baby. Side sleeping is ideal and recommended at this point.
  • If you had an amniocentesis with inconclusive results, you may be scheduled for a cordocentesis this week (more on that below).
  • At this time, baby is developing fast and has already mastered the sucking reflex. (Get those binkies ready!)

You’re at week 17 of your pregnancy; that’s almost halfway through, and there’s so much to do, it can be overwhelming. Our best advice? Don’t try to do it all yourself—ask for help. And whatever doesn’t get done? You’ll find it’s not that important anyhow.

Video Highlights at 17 Weeks

Watch Week 17 Highlights

3D Views: My Baby, My Body

See their progress for yourself with our 3D interactive tool.

Baby at Week 17

Baby's rubbery cartilage is now turning to bone. And baby is growing some meat on those bones, putting on some fat, which will not only make baby look less like an alien and more like a chubby human but will also help their body do important things like regulate their temperature and metabolism. Putting on body fat now may even help baby be healthier later on, helping their brain develop correctly and possibly reducing the risk of some diseases.

Baby’s heart is pumping blood, and the placenta is working extra-hard, growing to accommodate the blood vessels needed to supply baby with nutrients and oxygen and removing their waste. Their umbilical cord is also getting longer and stronger to make sure it can meet their needs.

Around this time, baby develops the vernix, a slick, white substance that forms a barrier for the skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid.

How big is baby at 17 weeks?

A baby at pregnancy week 17 is the size of a pomegranate. Your 17-week fetus is about 5.1 inches long and weighs about 5.9 ounces.

17 weeks pregnant is how many months?

At 17 weeks pregnant, you're four months pregnant. But here's the catch: Pregnancy is technically longer than nine months—it's 40 weeks long, and if you assign four weeks to a month, that's 10 months long. Of course, some months have slightly more than four weeks. It can all get a little confusing, which is why doctors track pregnancy by week, not month.

17 week ultrasound

You may have a 17 weeks pregnant ultrasound if you’ve opted to have a cordocentesis. In this procedure, umbilical cord blood is tested for signs of chromosomal abnormalities. The doctor uses an ultrasound to find the place where the cord meets the placenta—that’s the spot where they need to remove the blood. Typically, this diagnostic test is performed after 17 weeks; it may be used if amniocentesis results were inconclusive and you and your partner want a more definitive answer about baby’s health.

What is baby doing at 17 weeks in the womb?

Baby is moving around your uterus. The limb coordination happening during week 16 has helped Baby become pretty mobile this week! They can move their joints and are bouncing, flipping and turning around in the amniotic sac, testing out their gymnastic abilities. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you may already notice some of these movements, but don’t worry if you’re not. At 17 weeks, many expectant moms haven’t felt baby move yet.


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 17

When you’re 17 weeks pregnant, symptoms are most commonly due to your rapidly growing baby. Here’s what you’re likely feeling this week:

Increased bodily fluids

Vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus and other fluids are in full force because of your increased blood flow.

Weird dreams

You gave birth to a chipmunk? Married your boss? Having strange dreams might be caused by your hormones, but it might also be the result of your nerves and anticipation.

Itchy boobs and belly

As baby is growing, your skin is stretching thinner and can be more sensitive. Resist the urge to scratch, and find a soothing skin cream that eases the itch.

More rapid weight gain

You may have gained about 5 to 10 pounds by now. It’s normal to gain about 1 pound per week in the second trimester. Sudden or excessive weight gain could be a sign of a problem though, so talk to your OB if it’s higher than that.

Stretch marks

As you’re putting on some pounds and your uterus continues to expand, getting some stretch marks might be inevitable (especially if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins!). It’s different for every woman. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and use a good quality moisturizer to try to combat them.

Your Pregnant Belly at 17 Weeks

Baby is working on getting stronger, and your 17 weeks pregnant body is working on getting bigger—about 1 pound bigger per week. (Weight gain should be about the same if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins.) Make sure you document your growing 17 weeks pregnant belly by taking lots of photos. We promise: One day you’re going to look back and reminisce about this time. You’ll want to have a keepsake of how your body changed.

Can I feel baby at 17 weeks?

Those first exciting kicks you may be feeling at week 17 have a name: the quickening. Those sensations are wonderful, but don’t be worried if you haven’t felt them yet (especially if this is your first pregnancy). It’s different for every woman, but baby’s first movements are typically felt any time between 16 and 22 weeks.

Can I lie on my stomach at 17 weeks pregnant?

It’s time to find a new position for sleeping. When you’re on your back, your growing baby and uterus put pressure on a big blood vessel, the inferior vena cava. This can interfere with blood flow to baby, and it can lower your blood pressure. It’s best for your 17 week baby bump to start sleeping on your left side for optimal blood flow. (Really, any position other than flat on your back is fine, if you are a back-sleeper, tuck a pillow under one hip to tilt your belly to the side)

Consider taking a birthing class or listen to a pregnancy podcast, or even google prenatal yoga classes near you to help you connect with your body and reduce any stress and worry you may be experiencing. Remember, there are many ways to prepare your body and mind for this journey ahead, so try to avoid overwhelm by recognizing that you don't need to know everything, just stick with the resources that resonate with you and feel like something you would like to explore.

Founder of Yoga for You

Tips for 17 Weeks Pregnant

Here’s what you can do this week to keep yourself happy, healthy and feeling great.

Take cooling showers

Look, pregnancy is hard work, so it’s natural to have extra perspiration. Pregnant people are more likely to experience heat-related illness. That’s because your body is doing what it must to keep baby cool too! Rest, wear loose clothing, drink plenty of water and talk to your doctor about how you should replace the salts and other minerals you lose through sweat. Try cooling down in the morning with a slightly colder shower than you may be used to.

Stop the itch

Don’t let itchy skin drive you crazy. Soothe your 17 weeks pregnant belly with aloe vera gel to lock in moisture. For double the hydration, combine some aloe vera gel with a moisturizer that has vitamin E or cocoa butter to really nourish your skin.

Practice portion control

You’re eating for two, but don’t go overboard—you should consume between 200 and 400 extra calories per day to nourish you and baby at 17 weeks, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight and physical activity level. Focus on eating small meals made up mainly of lean protein, produce, whole grains and heart-healthy fats.

Wear the right underwear

Vaginal discharge isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Wear breathable cotton underwear to stay cool and dry. If you need extra protection, try an unscented pantiliner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal if I still can't feel baby move yet?

Yes! It’s normal to not feel baby move at this point. That typically happens sometime between 18 and 24 weeks. This is especially true for first-time moms, who may not know how to identify what they’re feeling. Quickening—or early fetal movement—can easily be mistaken for gas bubbles.

Of course, this timeline varies from woman to woman: some moms notice quickening at the end of their first trimester, especially if they already know what it feels like, while other moms won’t be able to feel anything resembling tiny, tapping feet until they’ve hit the six-month mark. Most experts recommend starting to count kicks by week 28, so talk to your provider if you’re not sure you’re feeling baby move before then.

Can I go to the dentist during pregnancy?

You can and should go to the dentist during pregnancy, though there may be some limitations to the services and procedures you can safely receive. Your oral care can be impacted by your pregnancy, with hormones potentially causing an increase in plaque, gingivitis and cavities.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid gum disease during pregnancy because it’s been linked to preterm birth. Of course, while regular cleanings, cavity fillings, local anesthesia and even dental x-rays, as needed, are all safe during pregnancy, you should avoid elective or non-emergency procedures (like teeth whitening, for example) until after baby has been born.

Is it normal that I keep getting nosebleeds during pregnancy?

Unfortunately, it’s pretty common to have nosebleeds during pregnancy. One reason for this is pregnancy rhinitis, or inflammation and swelling of the mucus membranes in the nose. Pregnancy congestion is usually caused by rising levels of estrogen and progesterone. Another reason for nosebleeds is that your body circulates a lot more blood during pregnancy, and there’s an increase in blood flow to the nasal tissues.

Keeping the air in your environment moist with a humidifier can help pregnancy nosebleeds, and so can using saline nasal sprays. If you can’t stop the bleeding or you have high blood pressure, contact your provider right away.

How can I prevent varicose veins during pregnancy?

Similar to stretch marks, varicose veins during pregnancy are common and often hereditary, meaning there may not be anything you can do to prevent these unsightly (and sometimes itchy or downright painful!) enlarged veins. However, there are some strategies for treating and preventing varicose veins during pregnancy:

  • Change positions frequently
  • Elevate your legs and feet when sitting
  • Exercise daily
  • Wear maternity stockings or pantyhose
  • Wear non-heeled, supportive shoes
  • Keep your legs uncrossed while seated
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Stay hydrated and limit your sodium intake

Can stress affect my pregnancy in the second trimester?

Chronic or frequent stress can affect your pregnancy—not only negatively impacting your own nervous system but baby’s too. While every expectant mom experiences some amount of normal stress during pregnancy, extended periods of stress or extreme stress caused by serious issues like depression, anxiety and difficult life events can have long-lasting effects. Stress can increase your risk of poor sleep, weight gain issues (either too much or too little), high blood pressure, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Stress can also put baby at a higher risk for being born prematurely or at a low birth weight.

We found out I was pregnant on our first wedding anniversary. At 10 weeks, we told our families by adding a picture of a sonogram to the end of the wedding albums we gifted them. For baby 2, we wrapped a bunch of big brother things for my son to open at his family birthday party.

Lauren K., mom of two

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


Monte Swarup, MD, FACOG, is an ob-gyn in Chandler, Arizona and founder of HPV HUB. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

American Pregnancy Association, Fatigue During Pregnancy

Cleveland Clinic, Morning Sickness, April 2023

Mayo Clinic, 2nd Trimester Pregnancy: What to Expext, March 2022

Sleep Foundation, [Sleeping While Pregnant: Second Trimester}(,,) March 2023

Cleveland Clinic, Cordocentesis, October 2022

Mayo Clinic, Fetal Development: The 2nd Trimester, June 2022

American Pregnancy Association, 17 Weeks Pregnant

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, How Long Does Pregnancy Last?, October 2020

American Pregnancy Association, Cordocentesis: Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS)

Fertility and Sterility, Prospective Evaluation of Hot Flashes During Pregnancy and Postpartum, September 2013

Auris Nasus Larynx, Medical Management of Rhinitis in Pregnancy, December 2022

Cardiovascular Journal of Africa, Physiological Changes in Pregnancy, April 2016

American Pregnancy Association, Pregnancy Dreams

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Skin Conditions During Pregnancy, December 2021

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?, August 2021

Mayo Clinic, Preeclampsia, April 2022

American Pregnancy Association, What Can be Done to Prevent Stretch Marks?

American Pregnancy Association, Weight Gain With Twins

Cleveland Clinic, Quickening in Pregnancy, April 2022

Sleep Foundation, Pregnancy and Sleep, March 2023

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Heat and Pregnant Women, August 2022

Iranian Journal of Medical Science, The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review, January 2019

Cleveland Clinic, Vitamin E for Skin: What Does it Do?, February 2022

Nutrients, Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health, August 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tracking Your Weight for Women Who Begin Pregnancy Overweight

American Pregnancy Association, Pregnancy Nutrition

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Quick Tips, May 2023

Planned Parenthood, Underwear: The Fabric of Our Lives, August 2017

American Dental Association, Pregnancy and your dental health

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Assessing the association between periodontitis and premature birth: a case-control study, March 2021

American Pregnancy Association, Pregnancy and Dental Work

American Pregnancy Association, Nosebleeds During Pregnancy

Kaiser Permanente, Pregnancy: Nosebleeds and Bleeding Gums

Nemours Kids’ Health, Why Do Some Pregnant Women Get Varicose Veins?

Nemours Kids’ Health, Why Do Some Pregnant Women Get Varicose Veins?

Learn how we ensure the accuracy of our content through our editorial and medical review process.

save article
Get customized articles online and in your inbox.
You can update the due date or child’s birthday anytime after signing up.

Navigate forward to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Due Date Calculator
Want a personalized experience?
Download The Bump App for daily pregnancy and newborn updates with our free app
Want a personalized experience?
Download The Bump App for daily pregnancy and newborn updates with our free app
Article removed.